By Lee Reinch
DE PERE – Attention: Friends and associates of Buckingham U. Badger with large-screen TVs – your presence is requested at the final De Pere Beer Gardens event of the year.
The book end event – scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Voyageur Park – takes place at the same time the Badgers face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Soldier Field in Chicago, the first since 1964.
However, Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Marty Kosobucki, proposed a possible fix at the Sept. 16 Parks Board.
Kosobucki said the game was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 at Lambeau Field, but was waylaid by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kick off is at 11 a.m., the same time beer will start to flow at Voyageur Park.
De Pere Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Marty Kosobucki said the college football schedule came out after the beer garden dates were solidified.
He said he asked if the city could get some large screens at the park for game day.
“We’re going to be competing with the game, and it’s really going to affect our attendance numbers,” Kosobucki said.
Around 1,000 people attended the last beer garden in August, which included a retirement party for former De
Pere Mayor Mike Walsh, who retired in 2020.
Alderperson Dean Raasch came up with a possible solution.
“I wonder if we could find a way to network with some of the serious tailgaters who have some pretty sophisticated setups, with TVs in their tailgating units,” he said. “They could just park their vehicles and have their TVs up for us.”
Kosobucki said he would “explore all avenues” to get the Badgers game to the park for the beer garden.
Tennis court second serve
In official business, park commissioners voted to rebid a resurfacing project at the VFW tennis courts and increase the amount budgeted for the project in 2022.
The city solicited estimates earlier this year, but received only one formal bid for $77,000 from Pro Track and Tennis Inc., a company based in Nebraska.
“Unfortunately, that one bid was essentially double what we had anticipated,” Kosobucki said.
He said it was unusual to receive only one bid, and even more unusual, it came from an out-of-state company.
Two area firms contacted Kosobucki, but told him they couldn’t do it for anywhere near the amount the city had in mind, about $38,000 after engineering fees.
Plans include the removal of one of the park’s three tennis court and have two pickleball courts replace it.
The courts were last resurfaced eight years ago.
Kosobucki said a few years ago, the city had new concrete courts put in at Legion Park for around $40,000.
The board voted to notify the out-of-state company of its intent to reopen bids, and to add roughly $22,000 to the $38,000 in the 2022 budget for a ceiling price of about $60,000.
The other alternative would have been to accept the bid of $77,000 and request $46,250 be added to the budget to cover the balance plus other fees.
In other business
The board also voted to accept:
• A donation of $250 from the Pink Flamingo Classic, Inc. to the Recreation Scholarship Fund. In 2021, the fund provided 18 families with pool passes and 15 children with participation fees for assorted recreation programs. Kosobucki reported a total of $2,167 was granted to 24 different families in 2020.
• Two donations of $300 from the De Pere Men’s Club to the De Pere Community Center for the senior citizens picnic and the summer carnival.